Horowpathana Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya – හොරොව්පතාන වලහවිද්දවැව කුඩා දඹුලු රජමහා විහාරය

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Horowpathana Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya

Horowpathana Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya
photograph by : Janaka Wettasinghe

If you are ever traveling to the Kiralagala Archaeological Reserve, on the Medawachchiya – Horowpathana road, there are few other sites along this route which belong to the same early Anuradhapura era. Some of these are

  1. Handagalakanda Ancient Cave Temple
  2. Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulla Rajamaha Viharaya
  3. Wane Pansala – Paluketuwewa (Palukatiwewa) Temple – වානේ පංසල – පළුකෙටුවැව (පළුකැටුවැව) පංසල – Temple lies 1.5 km north -west of Kuda Dambulu Viharaya
  4. Rasnakawewa Sri Rathnagiri Rajamaha viharaya (GPS – 8.566636, 80.736992)
  5. Alapathwewa Siyambalaewa Archaeological site : ඇලපත්වැව සියඹලෑව පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය
  6. Kulumeemaakada Archaeological Site – කුළුමීමාකඩ පුරාවිද්‍යා ස්ථානය

Kirigallewa Walahawiddhawewa Rangiri Kuda Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya lies between the villages of Kirigallewa and Walahawiddhawewa in Horowpathana. The temple complex sits on top of a small rocky hill hidden from the current road and not a known temple outside its villages.

This complex is said to go back to the reign of king Devanmpiyathissa (250-210 BC) of Anuradhapura kingdom. According to folklore this temple has been built by a minister called Mahanaga and 21 Arhaths have been living in the caves of this temple complex. According to charters of Royal Grants (Sannas) with the chief disciple of the temple, this temple has been been called Kirigallewa Viharaya  (කිරිගල්ලෑව විහාරය) in the past.

The hill consist of many caves with drip ledges possibly going to the pre-christian era which are still unexplored. Not even foot path can be found these caves.

The main image house lies on a large drip ledge cave which has been dated to early Anuradhapura era.The drip ledge is about 40-50 meters long but due to the way the image house is built it doesn’t utilize the full capacity of the cave. This image house seems to have been last renovated during the Kandyan era with the murals inside drawn in Kandyan tradition.

To reach the temple, travel 5.2 km from Rathmalgahawewa junction towards Horowpathana or 13km from Horowpathana. There is an unmarked gravel road to the left in front of a small boutique. Travel about 1.5 km on this gravel road to reach the temple.

References :

  • මධ්‍ය යාන්ඔය නිම්නයේ පුරාණ වාස්තුවිද්‍යාව හා නිර්මිත පරිසරය – ටිකිරිබන්ඩාර විජේපාල in Journal of Archaeology and Heritage Studies 2015

Also See

Map of Horowpathana Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya


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Driving Directions to Horowpathana Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya

Route from Horowpathana to Walahawiddawewa Kuda Dambulu Rajamaha Viharaya

Though :
distance : 15 km
Travel time :25 mins
Time to spend : 1 – 2 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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